Exped DownMat XP 9 Review
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The ideology that one sleeping pad fits all and works in all conditions is a thing of the past. Exped has created numerous offerings that range from lightweight air filled pads up to luxurious fat pads for car camping, available in a multitude of lengths and widths. For this review, we decided to go all out and test the Exped DownMat XP 9. As a cold sleeper, I typically use a 0F sleeping bag year round for my camping adventures. I was therefore, delighted at the opportunity to test out the Exped DownMat XP 9. The DownMat XP 9 is a down filled sleeping pad that offers, according to Exped, the greatest warmth to weight ratio out of all of their mats.
Comfort and Sizing
Exped makes a line of sleeping pads filled with goose down called the DownMat. It may be hard to decipher the differences between the various models, but here is a quick run down. The XP signifies the use of the Schnozzel Pump vs an integrated pump that is available in other models (I will talk more about this feature). UL signifies ultra-lightweight, not to be confused with the Lite model. The lighter you go, however, the less warmth you will receive based on the Exped rating system. The number after DownMat signifies the thickness of the sleeping pad, once fully inflated. For instance, the DownMat XP 9 has a thickness of 9 cm or 3.5″ separating you from the ground. The DownMat is available in thickness ranging from 5-9 cm (or 2-3.5″). In addition to offering a variety of sleeping pad thickness, Exped also offers a variety of length and width options. Sizes range from extra small to large for length, and get wider as the pad gets longer. For instance, a large length is actually a wide large. Some pads are also available in extra wide. The Exped DownMat XP 9 is available in two sizes, medium and large wide with the specifications noted below.
|DownMat XP 9 M|
|Size||183 x 52 x 9 cm|
|Weight||950 g incl.. Schnozzel Pumpbag (60 g) packsack 22 g|
|Packed||27 x 16 cm|
|Filling||250 g 700 qinch Goosedown|
|DownMat XP 9 LW|
|Size||197 x 65 x 9 cm|
|Weight||1215 g incl.. Schnozzel Pumpbag (60 g) Packsack 24 g|
|Packed||27 x 16 cm|
|Filling||320 g 700 qinch Goosedown|
I tested out the LW size of the Exped DownMat XP 9, which offers up ample sleeping space for someone up to 6’6″. Therefore, I had plenty of room at 5’9″ and enjoyed the extra width, which allows you to toss and turn without slipping or sliding off the mat. My husband who is 6’0 tall also tested this sleeping mat out and absolutely loved how big it was. He said it was like sleeping on a king bed in the backcountry. The sleeping pad top features a brushed polyester finish to help keep you from falling off the mat, yet is soft also against the skin. As a female, sleeping on thin sleeping pad can mean sore hips come morning; the Exped DownMat XP 9 felt luxurious each and every night. For those that have sworn off camping because of a bad back, should check out the DownMat XP 9 due to its’ comfort.
The Exped DownMat XP 9, as mentioned before is the thickest sleeping pad within the DownMat line and features 250-320 g of 700 fill goose down (depending on size). The goose down is laminated to the bottom and top of each baffled air chamber. This insulation results in the lowest temperature rating, with comfort ensured down to -36C or -32F. The mat has an R-value of 8.0, which in simple terms is a measure of the pads thermal resistance. In general, the higher the R value the more efficient the insulation. Simple translation, you can take the Exped DownMat XP 9 into extreme conditions and sleep soundly without feeling the chill of the snow or ground underneath you. I received the sleeping pad in April, and therefore have yet to test it in winter conditions. I have used it numerous times when the lows crept down to the 10-20F range and slept warmly without a hint of chill. I am looking forward to using the Exped DownMat XP 9 next winter with my 0F sleeping bag. The outer fabric of the DownMat XP 9 is a laminated polyester which is durable and protects the insulation. The seams of the mat are welded and the pads quality construction has survived 4 weeks of hard use while looking brand new
Setting up and taking down the Exped DownMat XP 9
The Exped DownMat XP 9 is a cinch to set up. Exped utilizes a Schnozzel Pumpbag that allows for quick inflation by using your hands/arms vs your lungs. This feature is nice because at high altitudes and in cooler temperatures, it can be difficult to inflate a sleeping pad with your mouth. In addition, moisture from your mouth can effect the moisture content within the sleeping pad, and ultimately the performance of the down. To inflate the pad, simply attach the Schnozzel Pumpbag at the flat inflation tab and fill the Pumpbag with with air and roll the air towards the sleeping pad. If you allow the Exped DownMat XP 9 to sit out for a few minutes out of a stuff sack, it typically takes 6-8 fills of the Schnozzel Pumpbag to fill the mattress fully. When not in use, the Schnozzel Pumpbag can be used as a compression sack for your sleeping bag or as a pillow at night, filled with your extra clothing. When you are ready to pack up camp, simply open the deflation flat tab and the air will escape via the valve. To get excess air out of the sleeping pad, I rolled the pad towards the deflate tab. Once rolled up, the DownMat XP 9 is about 13″ long with a 5″ diameter, making it relatively easy to find a home for the sleeping pad in your pack or car.
The Exped DownMat XP 9 may weigh more and cost more than a standard sleeping pad, but I can tell you that the added weight is worth it in terms of the comfort you will experience in a wide array of temperatures. The DownMat XP 9 has become by go to for both car camping and backpacking; as I have found a way to save on weight in other places to allow myself the luxury of a good nights’ sleep. The DownMat XP 9 MSRP $249 The photo shows the overall size of the DownMat XP 9–the mat is on the left of this 3 person tent and as you can see the size is quite generous, which should be taken into account when thinking about how many people will fit per tent. For more information on the DownMat XP 9 and other Exped products, please visit www.exped.com.